2019 MLK Holiday Invitational Preview

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Oregon

Posted On: 01/21/19 12:56 PM

The MLK Holiday Invitational takes place for the first time at the Viking Pavilion on the campus of Portland State University on Monday in what should be an exciting day of 6A high school basketball. In addition to two great girls games, there are four boys basketball contests that should be highly competitive with the last two games of the day featuring three of the top five teams in the state.

The two girls games are definitely must-see games in Grant vs. Southridge at 1 pm and Beaverton vs. Benson at 2:30, but here’s a look at the four boys games that will be taking place.

Roosevelt (6-8) vs. Clackamas (3-11) – 11 am

The opening day of the Invitational features two teams looking to get some footing in league play at this point in the season. Roosevelt is in the midst of a mini-slump having lost 3 of their last 4 games but is hoping for a good non-league win to get them back on track. The Roughriders continue to lean on juniors Jayoni Moore and Malik Kelley as their main offensive threats while getting contributions from others on each night. Clackamas is clearly in rebuilding mode but is hoping for big contributions from seniors such as Jailen Hammer to grab a win before they seek their first league win.

Barlow (9-5) vs. West Linn (8-7) – 4:30 pm

Both the Bruins and Lions stand a game back in the standings in their respective leagues, and a big non-conference win may give them the momentum they need in their upcoming matchups with those leaders. Barlow continues to get their main offensive production from their backcourt of juniors Jesse White and Evan Inglesby and are currently riding a three-game winning streak in Mt. Hood Conference action. West Linn has won four of their last five, and have been adjusting to a change in their starting lineup. The Lions have their own junior backcourt duo of Micah Garrett and Bryson Crockett and both are continually posting big scoring nights for West Linn.

Jefferson (10-5) vs. Rainier Beach (11-3) – 6:00 pm

Traditional Washington state powerhouse Rainier Beach makes the drive down I-5 from Seattle to take on Jefferson in what should be an intense matchup. Jefferson has had its relative shares of ups and downs so far this year, but the Democrats are looking at recapturing the state title and a win over the Vikings would go a long way in restoring their confidence. Senior guard and Washington signee Marcus Tsohonis has been battling an ankle injury all year long, but should be healthy enough to give it a go on Monday and other seniors such as Keylin Vance and Jaylen Brown are chomping at the bit to have a great showing in front of college coaches watching. Rainier Beach is led by nationally ranked forward Marjon Beauchamp and a whole host of recruitable seniors including Jamon Kemp, Jai Garrett, Stevie Smith, and Kenny Curtis.

Lake Oswego (11-3) vs. Grant (10-4) – 7:30 pm

The nightcap is a top five battle between the current #1 ranked team in the state in the Lakers and the defending 6A champs in the Generals. Both have gotten through league play undefeated so far and a big non-league win will only boost their current RPI rating. Lake Oswego is paced by their stellar backcourt of senior high-academic guard Josh Angle and super soph Wayne McKinney, but have a great supporting cast with the likes of defensive specialist Sam Abere, emerging big man Fred Harding, and solid seniors such as Brandon Roberts and Grant Fuson. Grant has their own dynamic guard tandem of Vermont signee Aaron Deloney and Ty Rankin, and a solid crew of shooters and scorers around them like Eric Fraser and Laquandre Taylor.